A Guide to Removing Personal Information from Word Documents

An open book with a lot of the text blacked out with a marker

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File sharing increases the risk that certain kinds of document metadata (stuff that's embedded in a file, often without your knowledge) could leak online. Information such as who worked on a document, who commented on a document, routing slips, and email headers are best left private.

Using Privacy Options for Removing Personal Information 

Microsoft Word includes a tool that removes personal information from your document before you share it with others. To activate it:

  1. Select Options from the Tools menu

  2. Click the Security tab

  3. Under Privacy Options, select the box next to Remove personal information from the file on save

  4. Click OK

When you next save the document, this information will be removed.

Wait until the document is completed before you remove the personal information, particularly if you are collaborating with other users because names associated with comments and document versions will change to “Author,” making it difficult to ascertain who made changes to the document.